heather & kathy

Transier Photography, in Key West, submitted this beautiful beach wedding.  The couple, Heather & Kathy, took the time to share with us the story behind their engagement and wedding planning.  I think this is a perfect wedding to start out the month of June!

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How did you meet?  Heather was working in the UConn Athletic Department and was helping out with the NCAA  Women’s Basketball Championship held on campus.  Kathy worked in athletic communications at Florida, which was selected to compete in the NCAA Championship, and was sent to UConn.  Heather was assigned to be Florida’s team host while they were in town.  They talked and chatted throughout their time together and agreed to meet up again that year at the Final Four. From then on, they were inseparable. Six months later, Heather moved down to Florida with a job offer.

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How did the proposal happen? We were in Rome prior to leaving on a Mediterranean cruise.  We took a nighttime walking tour of Rome and saw all of the highlights. After the tour, we had dinner just steps from the Pantheon and then began our trek back to the hotel.  We walked hand-in-hand through the narrow alleys, up the Spanish steps and we came upon a hotel with Floridian-Italian charm–complete with a limestone palm tree lined courtyard. Heather had packed a miniature wine barrel with stringed clues that Kathy had to remove from the barrel. After 4 strings, the final string and note asked Kathy to marry her…written in Italian.  Kathy said YES!  As we captured photos post-proposal, Kathy surprised Heather and got down on her knee to ask Heather the same question–all the while Kathy was capturing the special reactions on camera.  Needless to say after tears and smiles, both of us left the courtyard with rings on our fingers.

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Any details you wish to share about how you planned your day? Be creative and add personal touches–people notice! Since we had a destination wedding, our invites were set up as a passport and the program was a booklet of airline tickets.  The stamps we used throughout the passport were all places we had traveled together and the passport number reflected the dates of our first date, our legal courthouse wedding and then the Key West wedding date.  The program featured the same stamps and in then the seat assignment area we used the wedding date and first letter of the wedding month as a small touch.  Since our wedding was June 16, the seating read “16J.”

-Since most of our guests had never been to Key West, we really wanted to help guide them as they planned their trips.  We set up a wedding website with host hotel information but also recommended several other places and types of lodging.  In addition, we included airline information, how to get around and our favorite places to eat and see.  The night before the wedding, we hosted a welcome party at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (nothing says Key West better than Margaritaville!).  At the party, each guest received a welcome bag complete with several area maps, bottles of water, sunscreen, Tylenol, hand sanitizer, gum, local snacks and more.  We asked the visitors center to send us the maps and guide books, Margaritaville gave us their neat gift shop bags because we had our event there and we researched and bought the small products we put in the welcome bag.  You can save money by being resourceful and asking!

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Can you tell us a few favorite things about your day?

Heather’s favorites —
1). Having my mom and sister get me ready for my wedding day was remarkable!! The moment my mom and sister saw me complete with dress on and makeup done, they both started crying and said how  beautiful I looked.  I’ll never forget that moment!!
2) Watching Kathy dance with her father was an incredibly touching feeling that I can’t describe. I can’t remember seeing her smile as big and brightly as she did that moment. I was in tears the whole dance!!!
3) Walking all around Key West in our dresses and having tons of people yelling congratulations to us.  It was heartwarming to see everyone so genuinely welcoming and excited for two brides!!

Kathy’s favorites –
1.) I love that my entire family was in attendance and all participated in the ceremony. There all were there to enjoy in the happiness of the day.
2.) Watching Heather interact with all of her friends and family – she truly looked like the princess!

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A few words of advice to share with other couples: -Remember that despite the headaches, intense planning and seating charts, when they day comes, all that matters to your family and guests is being there to celebrate the love you two have for each other.  They don’t remember the details that kept you up at night but they can recall when they saw the two of you in a tender or loving moment–that’s what they care about and remember most!

-Hire a day-of coordinator! It doesn’t have to be a professional wedding planner, but a friend or family member who you trust.  They need to be organized and able to confidently direct people.  When the day comes you will be getting ready and being pulled many different directions so it helps to have others coordinating your ceremony & reception setup–that way all you have to do is show up and get married!

– ENJOY THE DAY!! The events go entirely too quickly.  Be sure to take time either as a couple or as a family and really let the day sink in.  All the people are there because they love you and they want to see you both take that next step!

– If you have been blessed with already having the essential items for your home, do a honeymoon registry instead!  Not only will you be able to do some fun, extra things but you can send pictures afterwards to those that helped and really make them feel that they contributed to your honeymoon memories.

Use your friends and family as a resource.  We were lucky to have friends who had experience as a DJ, a wedding planner and videographer. They happily assumed those roles and we used a family member as our wedding officiant.  Your wedding will be important to them than a traditional vendor thus they are more willing to make sure everything runs smoothly.

vendors:

Photographer: Transier Photography
Ceremony: Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park
Reception: The Westin Key West Resort & Marina.
Hair & Make-up: Key West Hair and Make-up
Flowers: Love in Bloom
Cake: Key West Cakes